pregnancies—all high-parity mothers—face risks. Except in most favo economic groups, evidence suggests that a short interval between pi depletes the mother's capacity to give her baby a good start. She alsi higher risk for her own health and safety, especially if she has se\ nancies very early in her childbearing years. Fetal loss rate under sue stances is higher, infant survival is lower, and malnutrition and sor ment of growth and development are found in the surviving children not only suffer from illnesses associated with pregnancy and childbe are more vulnerable to other health hazards of a more general nat bear the burden of caring for the children, often under unfavorabl stances and frequently with fewer opportunities to avail themseh health services that may exist.
With closely spaced pregnancies, or high parity, or the coi thereof, there is also greater risk of early interruption of pregnan prematurity. Where breast feeding is the only chance a child has t early birth of another infant curtails the benefit from the moth tion and predisposes the child to Kwashiorkor or other types of mal Studies from the United States and the developing countries reve; surprising fact that, as family size increases, per capita spending for down. As a result, corresponding diet inadequacies and nutritional d common. Malnutrition in childhood is usually not clearly identifie tality statistics, for it is largely reflected in deaths from dysentery pneumonia, etc. to which undernourished children have lessened i
Rapid population growth is usually paralleled by a lack of cc experience in the use of contraceptives. The result is a large n unwanted pregnancies, and, in many countries, frequent resort t< abortion, particularly when the desirability and feasibility of limiti size become recognized.
Abortion is widely considered both a social and a medical ( service) problem. The sociocultural aspects of this problem are so ^ so intimately associated with the historical, legal, and religious p individual countries that it is difficult to attempt any brief analys complexity or to generalize about the way rapid population grov* specific situations. It is possible, however, to assemble an impressn of evidence to give weight to two generalizations about abortion.
First, it appears that as traditional societies (no matter where make the transition from high to low fertility, the popularity o abortion as a method of fertility control rises markedly. It may e what has been termed epidemic proportions in some societies. Sec making bodies are becoming increasingly convinced by the argumers-An Initial Appraisal"; and Abdel R. Ornran, "Abortion in the Demographic Transition."